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Metro Pacific acquires 16% stake in SPNEC for P2 billion

PANGILINAN-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is set to acquire 1.6 billion shares equivalent to a 16% stake in SP New Energy Corp. (SPNEC) for P2 billion.

“Our thrust of pursuing renewable energy brings the MVP Group one step closer to fulfilling our mission of creating long-term value for our stakeholders through responsible and sustainable investments,” MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a disclosure.

MPIC said that the shares priced at P1.25 apiece are sold by Solar Philippines Power Projects Holdings, Inc. (SPPPHI), which will be using the proceeds to fund SPNEC’s land investments in Nueva Ecija where it plans to build Asia’s largest solar project.

“We have long seen a partnership with MPIC to be the key to unlock the potential of our project pipeline. We are humbled and grateful for this opportunity and believe that SPNEC now has the final ingredients to realize the value of our developments for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Leandro Antonio L. Leviste, president and chief executive officer of SPPPHI.

MPIC said that the payment for the initial acquisition will be funded by internally generated cash. The investment is seen to expand the group’s investment in the renewable energy sector, which is in line with the Department of Energy’s mission of increasing the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix to 35% by 2030.

The completion of the transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals and execution of a separate agreement, which will grant MPIC the option to increase its interest in SPNEC to 43% after the energy company increases its authorized capital stock to P50 billion.

The increase in SPNEC’s capital stock to P50 billion from P10 billion will be through an asset-for-share swap that will infuse SPPPHI energy assets, at a capacity of more than 8 gigawatts, into SPNEC.

Once realized, the acquisition will give MPIC the option to become the single largest shareholder of SPNEC, and Mr. Pangilinan will become chairman of the board of SPNEC.

“This is the first of several agreements through which the MPIC Group may acquire up to a total of about 19 billion common shares of SPNEC, subject to relevant approvals, with the goal of making SPNEC the largest renewable energy company in the Philippines,” said MPIC.

On Tuesday, shares in MPIC climbed by 4.09% or 15 centavos to P3.82 each, while SPNEC shares went up by 3.57% or six centavos to P1.74 apiece.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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